WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of existing homes plunged 17.8% in April with the real estate market still in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that last month’s decline pushed sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million units, the slowest pace since September 2011.
The sales drop was the largest one-month decline since a 22.5% fall in July 2010. That tail-off was preceded by the end a congressionally-approved tax credit intended pull the housing market out of the 2006 collapse of the housing market.
The median price for a home sold in April was $286,800, which was an increase of 7.4% from a year ago. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Realtors group, attributed the big jump in the median price to a lack of enough homes for sale, especially for first-time buyers.
Sales were down in all parts of the country with the West seeing a 25% drop. Sales in the Northeast fell 16.9%. Sales were down 17.9% in the South and down 12% in the Midwest.
By AP reporter Martin Crutsinger